Free Press

Jacob Zuma, South African President and Former Alleged Rapist, Complains About Media Freedom

Some confusion among the political class about rights and privileges and the power dynamic


it's no caterpillar mounting a french fry

According to Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, who was accused of and subsequently acquitted of rape charges seven years ago (at trial he also claimed taking a shower after having sex with the HIV-positive woman helped protect him from the disease), media freedoms are something he believes in but "access to the media" is also a privilege, one the South African president appears to want to have the power to revoke.

Via Reason 24/7, Zuma today dropped a lawsuit against a South African cartoonist who drew the South African president preparing to rape the justice system (pictured right) Because Zuma is part of a growing cadre of world leaders confused about what a right is, Zuma claimed that the cartoonist violated his "right to dignity." This right to dignity, apparently, doesn't extend to what powerful politicians do to the people they wish to rule. In any case, Zuma was charged with corruption more than 750 times, so the amount of dignity he has left is a matter of debate.

Nevertheless, while dropping his lawsuit Zuma used it as an occasion to push more government controls on media. Via ABC News:

Zuma said his government's proposed Media Appeals Tribunal is designed to assure those rights [to dignity and "privacy"] in South Africa, where the president's complaints against some in the local press have brought this tension into sharp focus.

A media tribunal would "strengthen, complement and support the current self-regulatory institutions" such as the press council, said Zuma, speaking to the Foreign Correspondents Association Monday.

There is some he said-he said about why the lawsuit was dropped, and the cartoonist, of course, would have preferred to go to court:

Zuma said he agreed to drop that case after the newspaper conceded it had defamed him. The Sunday Times said over the weekend that Zuma's lawyers agreed to withdraw the case without conditions and to pay half of the newspaper's legal costs.

Zuma said he still would like an apology from the newspaper, even though he is not demanding it.

Shapiro, whose professional name is Zapiro, said he had "mixed feelings" about Zuma's withdrawal of the case "because I would have liked to go to court and I believe we would have won hands down," according to the Sunday Times.

A reminder about free speech

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  1. Where’s Obama to tell us how the future does not belong to people who draw a shower spigot coming out of the head of South Africa’s president?

    1. Ugh. I can hear him saying it in that smug fucking voice that’s supposed to pass for thoughtful and articulate.

  2. Funny how two decades of left-wing, Marxoid rule under the ANC hasn’t dramatically approved South Africa’s fortunes. And now it looks like it’s becoming more authoritarian.

    1. Chalk it up as an unintended consequence?

      1. Unforeseeable consequences are not unintended.

        1. *DERP*-Me

          FORESEEABLE consequences are not unintended.

    2. Zuma and his ANC goons are bad in every way possible. Instead of addressing the very real problems of unrest and crime and violence and corruption (see: Marikana, and the constant attacks on farmers, and the Limpopo textbook fiasco, and, and, and) all they do is blame it on apartheid and make plans to take and waste more money. If Americans are curious what leftism looks like in practice, complete with affirmative action gone wild and redistribution galore, they need look no further than SA.

      1. Zuma might be preferable in the short term as a bulwark to Malema. Julius Malema is basically Negro Che but more retarded. Like he’s actually mentally stunted.

        Good news is the Democratic Alliance folk are making gains.

        Democracy has yet to benefit South Africa.

        1. Yes, Malema as anything but a mouthpiece would be very bad indeed. The way he came back to rabble-rouse during the miners strikes was despicable.

          But even if Zuma doesn’t survive the December convention, whoever takes his place is sure to be just as bad. From what I could see, there were no serious challenges to ANC rule, unfortunately.

  3. joe? joe? Where are you, joe? Come in, joe.

  4. Zuma claimed that the cartoonist violated his “right to dignity.”

    A politician’s dignity is the same thing as a whore’s chastity.

    1. Please, how can you use those two in the same sentence? Whores are respectable, hardworking and engage in voluntary exchange.

  5. I’ll bet that shower spigot dispenses a clear malt beverage.

    1. 🙂 It was a bit of a stretch, but pretty good.

    2. Pos(‘u’, [QWERTYUIOP]) +1

  6. I think implying that black men have penises is now racist. I’ll have to check my progressive case law.

  7. Why make a big deal about Zuma and rape? Maybe you’re being racist. After all, the USA elected the rapist Clinton. And nobody cares about the Juanita Broaddrick rape.

  8. Who the heck does China think they are man?

  9. This is depressing…my inner liberal is sad. I think I’ll just ignore this news and watch *Invictus* again, maybe *Cry Freedom.*

  10. I bought that shit once. It was awful.

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